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Badge of a Veteran of the 171st Idritsa - Berlin Rifle Division, 1972 Issue in Commemoration of the 1500th Anniversary of Kiev.

Aluminum, paint, lacquer; the medallion measures approx. 41 mm in height (including the eyelet), 37 mm in width. The obverse is inscribed "171st Idritsko-Berlinskaya ('i.e of Idritsa and Berlin fame')Rifle Division, 1500th Anniversary of Kiev, May 1982". The suspension has a cloth ribbon - an uncommon detail for a veteran's badge - which signifies the division's key role in the Battle of Berlin. The badge is in excellent condition.

The 171st Rifle Division took part in the Patriotic War starting in 1942, when it was deployed against the German troops isolated in the Demyansk Pocket. Later that year, it suffered heavy losses near Novgorod and was then redeployed to the Velikie Luki area. In 1944, it earned its first honorific title by liberating the town and railway juncture of Idritsa. The division took part in the Vistula-Oder and Berlin offensives as part of the 3rd Shock Army, 1st Belorussian Front. In the final fighting in Berlin, the unit acquired fame by storming the Reichstag alongside its sister unit 150th Rifle Division (the troops of the latter raised a red banner over the burned-out dome of the Reichstag, while the 171st Rifle Division captured the lower level of the building.) In another recognition of the unit's role in the battle, Hero of the Soviet Union Samsonov, one of the veteran soldiers of the 171st , carried the Victory Banner during the victory anniversary parade in 1965; he was flanked by Sergeants Yegorov and Kantaria, the two famous heroes of the 150th who raised the flag back in 1945.

/See Paul Schmitt Soviet Second World War Veteran Badges p. 45/

Item# 36685

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